Administrative Regulation and Democracy

42 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014

See all articles by Errol Meidinger

Errol Meidinger

University at Buffalo Law School

Date Written: 1992


Administrative regulation is a major institutional system for defining and implementing social order in American and most other modern societies. Most modern governments practicing comprehensive administrative regulation base their claims to legitimacy on the ideal of democracy, or “government by the people.” Yet, paradoxically, much administrative regulation is subject to significant challenges based on the ideal of democracy.

This paper is part of a larger effort to bring together several strands of normative and empirical research on administrative regulation and democracy and to re-conceptualize the relationship between the two discourses. It aims to (1) reformulate the conventional delegation critique of administrative regulation as one of effective political community, (2) describe the effects and handling the interconnectedness of self-interest and community interest human communities, and (3) assess the implications of different types of power for the achievement democratic legitimacy in administrative regulation.

Keywords: administrative regulation, communicative action, culture, democracy, delegation, deliberation, legitimacy, power, public interest, regulatory capture, self-interest

Suggested Citation

Meidinger, Errol, Administrative Regulation and Democracy (1992). SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1992-100, Available at SSRN: or

Errol Meidinger (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

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Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
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